You can’t always be there. But we can.
As a family caregiver, you may be responsible for purchasing your senior parent’s groceries. Since you’ve got a lot of things to do every week, perhaps you find yourself rushing through the task and tossing things in the cart. You’d like your parent to eat healthier, but when you start preparing meals for the week, you realize you’ve missed the mark. What can you do to make sure you shop healthier next time?
Well, here are six tips for healthier grocery shopping that just might help.
#1 Plan a Weekly Menu
Spend some time thinking about what your parent will eat this week. Make a menu of healthy, balanced meals. If you need help determining if the meals you’re planning are balanced, there are free nutrition tracking tools available on choosemyplate.gov, a resource provided by the USDA.
#2 Make a List
Use the weekly menu you created to prepare a shopping list. Shopping with a grocery list can not only serve as a memory aid, but it can also help you to avoid impulse buys.
#3 Try to Spend More Time in Produce
If you’re spending more time in the produce section, you’re probably packing your parent’s diet with lots of healthy fruits and vegetables. Try to pick produce with a variety of colors to ensure your parent gets all of the nutrients the produce aisle has to offer.
#4 Look for Whole Grain Products
Many products say “whole grain” on the label, but to know for sure if the product contains whole grains, look at the ingredient list. If the first ingredient isn’t a whole grain, see if you can find another option that is.
#5 Look for the Check Mark
The American Heart Association has instituted a program that certifies foods as being “heart healthy.” Look for the red check mark logo on the label.
#6 Read Labels
You’ve probably heard a thousand times that you need to read nutrition labels. It really is important, though, so it bears repeating! The nutrition label is the only way you can truly know what’s in the food you’re buying.
If you often find yourself running short of time because of the many caregiving duties you perform for your senior parent, hiring a home care srvices provider through an agency can help. A home care services provider can help with many of the tasks you do for your parent, including the weekly grocery shopping! A home care services provider can take the list you’ve written and your parent to the grocery store so that they can do the shopping together. Elder home care services providers can also prepare healthy meals for your parent and assist them with eating, if needed.